American Culture Major

Effective : Winter 2014

May be elected as an area major

The Program in American Culture exposes students to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. society and culture. Our courses integrate a rich array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields: not only historical and literary study, but also visual studies, musicology, film and media, anthropology, and others. The curriculum of the Program emphasizes the multicultural diversity of American society, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, and other forms of social difference and inequality. At the same time, it stresses the importance of studying U.S. nationhood, including Americans' (sometimes conflicting) ideals and experiences of what it means to be American. Our courses are designed to explore these issues in both historical and contemporary settings.

Although the major in American Culture offers considerable flexibility and intellectual diversity, it also is designed to foster a community of learning among undergraduates. The Program aims to be an interdisciplinary "village" within the larger College, in which majors share the opportunity for intensive study, conversation, and research about American society and culture.

 

Prerequisites to the Major. 

None.

Requirements for the Major. 

A minimum of 28 credits. No more than 9 credits at the 200 level can be counted toward the major. 

  1. Core course: AMCULT 275, American Culture at Work.
  2. Capstone: AMCULT 498, Capstone Seminar in American Culture.
  3. Breadth Requirements: Students must also have classes focused on the following Breath Requirements at the 200-level or higher. Depending on content, one course might satisfy two or more of these requirements.
    • Pre-Twentieth-Century United States
    • Transnationalism, Diaspora, and/or Empire
    • Women, Gender, and/or Sexuality
    • Ethnic and/or Indigenous Studies
  4. Electives: Students select another 22 credits at the 200 level or higher. Students may use any class under American Culture’s Ethnic Studies SUBJECT Codes to count toward the major (LATINOAM, ASIANPAM, NATIVEAM, ARABAM).

    When appropriate, a course listed in another department may count for an elective course with permission of American Culture department advisor. 

No more than 6 credits of directed readings/internships may be counted toward the major.

Honors Plan

American Culture Honors provides an opportunity for majors in American Culture and Latina/o Studies to complete a comprehensive, original independent project under the guidance of a faculty member as the culmination of their undergraduate studies. Honors requirements consist of regular American Culture or Latina/o Studies requirements plus the Honors requirements.

American Culture and Latina/o Studies majors with an overall grade-point average of 3.5 or higher may apply for an Honors plan. Students usually apply in the fall term of their junior year.

Honors requirements spans three terms.

  • In the second term of the junior year, the student must successfully complete AMCULT 398, which involves preparing a thesis prospectus and bibliography and identifying a supervising faculty advisor and a second reader.
  • In both terms of the senior year, the student will enroll in AMCULT 493 (3 credits per term) to research and write the thesis.
  • participation in three Friday colloquia. Colloquia will focus on peer response to work in progress, as well as on topics of particular usefulness to a given cohort of students. The series will be facilitated by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and is intended to provide seniors with ongoing mentoring.

The primary advisor and the second reader determine the designation of Honors (Honors, High Honors, Highest Honors).

American Culture Major (Winter 2012-Fall 2013) +

Effective Date of Requirements for the major: Winter 2012-Fall 2013

May be elected as an area major

The Program in American Culture exposes students to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. society and culture. Our courses integrate a rich array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields: not only historical and literary study, but also visual studies, musicology, film and media, anthropology, and others. The curriculum of the Program emphasizes the multicultural diversity of American society, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, and other forms of social difference and inequality. At the same time, it stresses the importance of studying U.S. nationhood, including Americans' (sometimes conflicting) ideals and experiences of what it means to be American. Our courses are designed to explore these issues in both historical and contemporary settings.

Although the major in American Culture offers considerable flexibility and intellectual diversity, it also is designed to foster a community of learning among undergraduates. The Program aims to be an interdisciplinary "village" within the larger College, in which majors share the opportunity for intensive study, conversation, and research about American society and culture.

Gateway courses: The Program has a broad array of 200-level courses through which students may get an initial exposure to American studies. These "gateway courses" include introductions to ethnic studies, topical seminars, "periods" courses on particular eras, and AMCULT 201 (American Values). Gateway courses are not primarily surveys, but discussion-based "modes of thought" courses that model various themes and approaches to interdisciplinary American studies.

Prerequisites to the Major. None.

Requirements for the Major. A minimum of 28 credits.

Required courses (16 credits): AMCULT 335, 345, 350, 399, and either 496 or 498.

Electives: Four additional AMCULT courses, at least two of which must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one of these at the 400 level. Students may take an additional AMCULT 496 or 498 topics course not being counted toward the senior seminar requirement. Upper division electives should cohere around a theme of each student's own choosing, in consultation with the American Culture department advisor.

Breadth requirements: Among the electives within AMCULT, at least one course at the 200 level or above must fall into each of the following areas (any single course may count toward one or more of the breadth requirements; required core courses cannot fulfill breadth requirements):

  • Pre-Twentieth-Century United States
  • Transnationalism, Diaspora, and/or Empire
  • Women, Gender, and/or Sexuality
  • Ethnic and/or Indigenous Studies

Substitutions: When necessary, an appropriate course listed in another department may substitute for a required or elective course with permission of the American Culture department advisor.

 

Advising. Students are encouraged to consult with the department advisor. For appointments regarding the major, visit www.lsa.umich.edu/ac/undergraduate

Honors Plan. (Effective Fall 2010)

American Culture concentration (Fall 2010-Fall 2011) +

Effective Date of Concentration requirements: Fall 2010 through Fall 2011  

Honors Concentration requirements effective Fall 2010 | Previous requirements for Honors Concentration.

May be elected as an area concentration program

The Program in American Culture exposes students to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. society and culture. Our courses integrate a rich array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields: not only historical and literary study, but also visual studies, musicology, film and media, anthropology, and others. The curriculum of the Program emphasizes the multicultural diversity of American society, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, and other forms of social difference and inequality. At the same time, it stresses the importance of studying U.S. nationhood, including Americans' (sometimes conflicting) ideals and experiences of what it means to be American. Our courses are designed to explore these issues in both historical and contemporary settings.

Although the concentration in American Culture offers considerable flexibility and intellectual diversity, it also is designed to foster a community of learning among undergraduates. The Program aims to be an interdisciplinary "village" within the larger College, in which concentrators share the opportunity for intensive study, conversation, and research about American society and culture.

Gateway courses: The Program has a broad array of 200-level courses through which students may get an initial exposure to American studies. These "gateway courses" include introductions to ethnic studies, topical seminars, "periods" courses on particular eras, and AMCULT 201 (American Values). Gateway courses are not primarily surveys, but discussion-based "modes of thought" courses that model various themes and approaches to interdisciplinary American studies.

Prerequisites to Concentration. One 200-level AMCULT course (either completed or enrolled in at the time concentration is declared).

Concentration Program. A minimum of 31 credits (includes prerequisite).

Required courses (16 credits): AMCULT 335, 345, 350, 399, and either 496 or 498.

Electives: Four additional AMCULT courses, at least two of which must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one of these at the 400 level. Students may take an additional AMCULT 496 or 498 topics course not being counted toward the senior seminar requirement. Upper division electives should cohere around a theme of each student's own choosing, in consultation with the American Culture undergraduate advisor.

Breadth requirements: Among the electives within AMCULT, at least one course at the 200 level or above must fall into each of the following areas (any single course may count toward one or more of the breadth requirements; required core courses cannot fulfill breadth requirements):

  • Pre-Twentieth-Century United States
  • Transnationalism, Diaspora, and/or Empire
  • Women, Gender, and/or Sexuality
  • Ethnic and/or Indigenous Studies

Substitutions: When necessary, an appropriate course listed in another department may substitute for a required or elective course with permission of the American Culture undergraduate advisor.

Advising. Students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor. For appointments regarding the concentration program, visit www.lsa.umich.edu/ac/undergraduate

 

Honors Concentration. (Effective Fall 2010)

American Culture concentration (Fall 2005-Summer 2010) +

Effective Date of Concentration requirements: Fall 2005-Summer 2010

May be elected as an area concentration program

The Program in American Culture exposes students to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. society and culture. Our courses integrate a rich array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields: not only historical and literary study, but also visual studies, musicology, film and media, anthropology, and others. The curriculum of the Program emphasizes the multicultural diversity of American society, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, and other forms of social difference and inequality. At the same time, it stresses the importance of studying U.S. nationhood, including Americans' (sometimes conflicting) ideals and experiences of what it means to be American. Our courses are designed to explore these issues in both historical and contemporary settings.

Although the concentration in American Culture offers considerable flexibility and intellectual diversity, it also is designed to foster a community of learning among undergraduates. The Program aims to be an interdisciplinary "village" within the larger College, in which concentrators share the opportunity for intensive study, conversation, and research about American society and culture.

Gateway courses: The Program has a broad array of 200-level courses through which students may get an initial exposure to American studies. These "gateway courses" include introductions to ethnic studies, topical seminars, "periods" courses on particular eras, and AMCULT 201 (American Values). Gateway courses are not primarily surveys, but discussion-based "modes of thought" courses that model various themes and approaches to interdisciplinary American studies.

Prerequisites to Concentration. One 200-level AMCULT course (either completed or enrolled in at the time concentration is declared).

Concentration Program. A minimum of 31 credits (includes prerequisite).

Required courses (16 credits): AMCULT 335, 345, 350, 399, and either 496 or 498.

Electives: Four additional AMCULT courses, at least two of which must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one of these at the 400 level. Students may take an additional AMCULT 496 or 498 topics course not being counted toward the senior seminar requirement. Upper division electives should cohere around a theme of each student's own choosing, in consultation with the American Culture undergraduate advisor.

Breadth requirements: Among the electives within AMCULT, at least one course at the 200 level or above must fall into each of the following areas (any single course may count toward one or more of the breadth requirements; required core courses cannot fulfill breadth requirements):

  • Pre-Twentieth-Century United States
  • Transnationalism, Diaspora, and/or Empire
  • Women, Gender, and/or Sexuality
  • Ethnic and/or Indigenous Studies

 

Substitutions: When necessary, an appropriate course listed in another department may substitute for a required or elective course with permission of the American Culture undergraduate advisor.

 Honors Concentration effective through Summer 2010

American Culture concentration (effective through Summer 2005) +

May be elected as an area concentration program administered by the American Culture Program 

The Program in American Culture exposes students to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. society and culture. Our courses integrate a rich array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields: not only historical and literary study, but also visual studies, musicology, film and media, anthropology, and others. The curriculum of the Program emphasizes the multicultural diversity of American society, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, and other forms of social difference and inequality. At the same time, it stresses the importance of studying U.S. nationhood, including Americans' (sometimes conflicting) ideals and experiences of what it means to be American. Our courses are designed to explore these issues in both historical and contemporary settings.

Although the concentration in American Culture offers considerable flexibility and intellectual diversity, it also is designed to foster a community of learning among undergraduates. The Program aims to be an interdisciplinary "village" within the larger College, in which concentrators share the opportunity for intensive study, conversation, and research about American society and culture.

Prerequisites to Concentration. Concentrators must take one of the following prerequisites, generally by the first term of their junior year: AMCULT 100 (What Is An American?), AMCULT 201 (American Values), HISTORY 160 (U.S. History Before 1865), or HISTORY 161 (U.S. History After 1865).

Concentration Program. Concentrators must take 36 credits in American Culture or related units (not including the prerequisite), at the 200-level and above; 24 credits must be at the 300-level or above. There are also several distribution requirements, designed to expose students to a diversity of topics and disciplines. Concentrators may not elect more than 9 credits from any single unit outside of American Culture. They must also elect at least one course on ethnic or racial minorities and at least one course on women or gender issues in America. (These courses may also satisfy other requirements listed below.)

In describing the path through which students will generally move through the concentration in American Culture, it is helpful to divide the curriculum into three parts: gateway courses, concentration tracks, and upper-level core courses.

Gateway courses: The Program has a broad array of 200-level courses through which students may get an initial exposure to American studies. These "gateway courses" include introductions to ethnic studies, topical seminars, "periods" courses on particular eras, and AMCULT 201 (American Values). Gateway courses are not primarily surveys, but discussion-based "modes of thought" courses that model various themes and approaches to interdisciplinary American studies. Concentrators are required to elect any two courses between AMCULT 201 and AMCULT 217. (If AMCULT 201 is taken as the prerequisite, it may not also count for the "gateway" requirement.)

Tracks: Except for students taking the Self-Designed Option (see below), all American Culture concentrators will select one of three "tracks" as their area of particular interest. These have been designed to offer students intellectual focus without sacrificing breadth of choice. The tracks are: (1) Arts, Literature, and Culture; (2) Ethnic Studies; and (3) Society and Politics. Students are required to take at least 18 credits in their track (as approved by the undergraduate concentration advisor); these will normally be at the 300-level or above, but the concentration advisor may approve 200-level courses as track electives too. Track electives may satisfy other concentration requirements as well. Students must take at least three and no more than six credits in "cognate" courses that study the themes of the track in a setting outside the United States.

Each track has certain courses and requirements of its own.

  • Students electing Arts, Literature, and Culture must take AMCULT 335 (Arts and Culture in American Life) and at least three credits in either creative expression or the analysis of non-print media. Other track electives should study such materials as the visual arts, dance, literature, film, media, music, and popular culture.
  • Students electing Ethnic Studies must take AMCULT 399 (Race, Racism, and Ethnicity), at least one 200-level introductory course in ethnic studies, at least one ethnic history course, and at least one course focused on women of color.
  • Students electing Society and Politics must take AMCULT 345 (American Politics and Society) and at least one course focused on U.S. society before 1945. Other track electives will generally concern such subjects as communications, historical study, ethnography, politics, sociology, and economics.

Upper-Level Core Courses: In addition to the particular focus provided by the tracks, concentrators will come together in their final two years in a sequence of required seminars. These are designed to enable students to explore American Studies at a high level of sophistication, working closely and collectively with core Program faculty. Concentrators will study the methods and development of American Studies in AMCULT 350 (Approaches to American Studies), typically in their junior year. In the following year, they will elect a section of AMCULT 496, AMCULT 498 (Senior Seminar in American Culture), or AMCULT 499, intensively studying a topic related to their interests or their track.

Self-Designed Option: Concentrators may petition the Undergraduate Education Committee of the Program to design their own curriculum in place of selecting a track. The proposed plan of study must be rigorous, well-focused, and grounded in an informed set of intellectual interests. Students wishing to pursue the Self-Designed Option should consult with the undergraduate concentration advisor early in their junior year for help in developing their plan of study and petition.

Honors Concentration. Qualified students may enter an Honors concentration. Students who apply for the Honors program should submit a 150-word statement of intent early in the fall term to the Undergraduate Chair, plus a tentative list of proposed courses. Honors students may petition the Program Undergraduate Education Committee to elect the self-designed track. A junior writing workshop is offered for juniors each winter term (AMCULT 398). Students in this seminar are required to prepare a thesis prospectus and bibliography and to select two thesis advisors. Honors students receive six credits during the senior year for researching and writing the Honors thesis (AMCULT 493). Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact the Honors concentration advisor early in the fall term of their junior year at the latest.

 

Undergraduate Committee. Students who wish to consult or petition the program regarding any requirement should submit a written request addressed to the Program Undergraduate Committee.


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